A comparison of GenomEra® GBS PCR and GeneXpert ® GBS PCR assays with culture of GBS performed with and without broth pre-enrichment

Stine Yde Nielsen*, J. K. Møller, M. R. Khalil

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study was designed to compare the performance of GeneXpert® and GenomEra® group B streptococcus (GBS) PCR assays, held up against standard culture of GBS performed with and without broth pre-enrichment. In Denmark, the strategy for preventing early onset GBS infection (EOGBS) is risk factor based. Three hundred and sixty six women fulfilling one or more of the criteria for presence of risk factors for EOGBS were prospectively included. Rectovaginal swab samples were taken intrapartum and tested bed-site by the GenomEra® and the GeneXpert® GBS PCR assays and cultured at the microbiology laboratory using Granada agar plates with and without prior growth of sampling material in selective enrichment broth. Among 366 participants tested intrapartum, 99 were GBS-positive by culture, 95 by GenomEra, and 95 by GeneXpert. Compared with culture, the GenomEra and the GeneXpert performed with a sensitivity of 91.8% and 91.7% and a specificity of 98.1% and 97.3%, respectively. A combined reference standard was established by defining true positives as either culture-positive samples or culture-negative samples where both the GeneXpert and the GenomEra GBS PCR assays were positive. Using this, the sensitivity increased to 92.2% and the specificity to 99.6% for GenomEra and to 92.0% and 96.8% for GeneXpert. The use of selective broth enrichment found only three additional GBS culture-positive samples. The performance of the two PCR methods examined was very similar and close to the findings by culture, and both PCR assays are thus applicable as rapid intrapartum bed-site tests.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1945-1950
Publication statusPublished - 1. Oct 2020


  • Early onset
  • GBS
  • Group B streptococci
  • Intrapartum
  • PCR
  • Point-of-care testing
  • Pregnancy
  • S. agalactiae


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